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Sony DSC-P200 or DSC-W7

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Anonymous
May 25, 2005 3:58:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I am having a difficult time determining if their are any mechancial
feature differences between the two Sony models. Does anyone know if
the larger DSC-W7 have an advantage over it's smaller brother? How do
either compare to a Canon SD500? Your help is greatly appreciated.

More about : sony dsc p200 dsc

Anonymous
May 26, 2005 1:12:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

bourmb wrote:

> I am having a difficult time determining if their are any mechancial
> feature differences between the two Sony models. Does anyone know if
> the larger DSC-W7 have an advantage over it's smaller brother? How do
> either compare to a Canon SD500? Your help is greatly appreciated.

Think W7 = P200 + bigger LCD screen, direct-attach wide angle and
tele zoom lenses, a more 'traditional' camera layout, longer battery
life, bigger, heavier, easier to find AA battery (instead of Li-Ion)
cells, built-in 32MB RAM (you can take pictures w/o adding a flash
card), etc.

IMO, not worth the extra weight unless you want either AA batteries,
or add lens attachments often. The P200 would be the better choice for
most consumer buyers.

The even smaller T7 has only 5MP, but it's quite good for 4x6" to
8x10" snaps, and packages the P100 (5MP version of P200) into one of the
thinnest cameras on the market today. Only disadvantages? - no optical
viewfinder, though not a problem with the big LCD, and 1 hour battery
life (really, really small battery; but sufficient for most casual
picture takers who don't take more than a roll or two of film equivalent
during a day or night out).

Between the P200 and SD500, I went for the P150!

(Huh?)

Well, the P150 is identical to the P200 with the exception of the
slightly smaller LCD screen and cosmetic body styling.

Microcenter.com stores have a full 20% off all digital cameras this
month, so naturally --- the P200 at $399 retail sells for $320; the P150
on clearance, even cheaper!

That said, between the P200 (or P150) and the SD500 -
1) People have said the SD500 has a very annoying noisy movie
recording problem (www.dpreview.com -> forums). Bad vs. the prior ELPHs
which don't have this problem.
2) The P200 (and P150) still feel more responsive in my hands, esp.
for focusing. Here, the SD500 is quick, but the P200 is just faster.

I hate missing shots, and the P200 (P150) autofocus faster (see
www.dpreview.com and www.imaging-resource.com and
www.steves-digicams.com timings).

Even nicer, the Sony's have adjustable multi-step fixed focus
distance lock - you can set them at 0.5m, 1m, ..., 7m, and infinity!

You'd think this pointless, but keep in mind that when you're
trying to grab a shot of a moving kid, or anything at night, there's
just no time to wait for the AF illuminator to light up the subject
before AF starts.

With focus locked (and easily changed on the Sony), you can
preset a 3m distance for example, have the flash in ON mode (for night
shots), and simply point and shoot! The response is 'instant' (0.001
sec according to their specs), and it has really, really helped me to
get great indoor shots with my buddies out dancing. The moment you see
something, you can get it.
3) Don't know here about the SD500 since I haven't had it at night,
but the P200/P150 series does a very good job for P&S in lighting up a
dark room at night to about 15 feet or so on ISO400 and still produce
nice, low-grain photos. I hate cameras that can't make a nice, well-lit
indoor photo, so the Sony gets my mark here.
4) Battery life. P150 honestly gets me a solid 180 minutes of
continuous shooting time like the monitor shows, and it does easily last
a full night out (5 hours+) shooting at a full 7MP + 640x480 30fps
movies until a 1GB flash card is filled when turned off between groups
of shots. Like an Energizer bunny, it just goes and goes w/o worry.

UNLIKE most other cameras, the Sony's display the full battery
remaining life in MINUTES of time remaining! Others simply have a
simply battery full, half full, empty indicator, which is useless if
you're trying to guage how much time you've got left. The time
countdown is extremely useful to me, and I can easily run the camera
down to the very last minutes w/o worry that I'll run out before I get a
shot.
SD500 doesn't do this.

Imaging-resources tests: SD500 - 103 minutes, Sony - 202 minutes in
capture mode. I'd much rather have the longer battery life over
anything else due to the large number of movies and photos I take!

5) Uses a Memory Stick - I can drop a Duo into the P-series, take
photos, then drop it into my Playstation Portable (PSP), and let
everyone view the pictures on the PSP's plasma-like wide-screen (think
portable photo album).
6) Very fast picture to picture viewing cycle. I can go from this
photo to view the next photo faster on this camera than others I've seen
.. Very easy to review and go through hundreds of photos quickly on the
P-series. Other cameras have a longer delay.
7) Transfer rate over the USB port is faster than on the SD500.

---

That said, the SD500 is 'smaller' and can fit into a shorter
pocket, has panorama stitch assist, sound memo recording to add to your
photos, more system adjustments, more color adjustments, and higher
tested resolution.

But, I figured shutter response (when focus is preset) and night
shots were more important for me along with battery life, and with the
$100+ difference in price at microcenter.com, I went for the Sony and
have been very happy thus far.

The happiness stems from the fact the P-series Sony's run like a
SLR - fast, responsive, instant reaction, reliable exposure,
to-the-minute battery indicator, etc. An intuitive camera for
traditional photographers who understand that when you're locking the
camera to 1m or 3m focus, you actually get quite good depth of field and
can snap all day long w/o worrying about misfocused or missed shots
(never have to worry about those slow AF systems anymore - not to say
the Sony's isn't good, it's actually quite good with 5 point MF). SD500
just simply didn't respond as fast in my hands.

---

Personally wouldn't buy the more expensive W7 myself - can't see
any reason for it unless AAs are a thing to have. (Also, knowing how
low the W5 blew out of stock at <$180 at target stores and elsewhere
(www.fatwallet.com/c/18/), the W7 definitely isn't worth the $449 it
retails for today.)

-----

Keep in mind the FujiFilm F10 as well, which has rated very good
across most reviews. dpreview.com writes:
"And it may not be as slim and sexy as models such as the Canon
SD500, but it handles a lot better and produces better results in most
circumstances - most especially when light levels start to drop."
And has a 500 shot rated battery life!
!